Svenska Mustaschklubben 25th Anniversary - The Lear Report

RODDERS AND I were the last of the incomers to arrive at Stockholm airport on Friday, which was a good thing because Joss and Mrs Joss had arrived ages ago and been wandering around with Dan till we arrived. Luckily Dan owns a hire car company so was the natural choice for getting everyone where they should be, when they should be there. What he should have done is drive the others to the hotel, found a peaked cap and then pick Rodders and I up in his Rolls Royce but we had to slum it in the people carrier with the riff raff.

Mind you I think the Belgians had it worse. Ronnie and crew had arrived at another Stockholm airport at about the same time and been picked up by one of Dan’s sons and all eight of them plus luggage was apparently a bit of a squeeze in a seven seater.

Whiskers Roe having a sneaky cigaretteFirst thing I noticed when we arrived at the hotel was Whiskers Roe, having a sneaky cigarette outside. It was a very good turnout. Whiskers and Mrs Whiskers had come all the way from America. I think there were 11 Brits, Me, Sarah and Paul, Young Nick and Ginger (their first foreign moustache-based expedition), Geoffo and Dame Judy, two fellows that I had not met before Roger and Phil, the slothful Halbert and, of cause, our illustrious president Rod ‘Warthog Sandwich’ Littlewood. There was also a busload of Belgians, a gaggle of Germans, a dash of Dutch, a smattering of Swedes and quite possibly a few others of unidentifiable origin for good measure. It was not long before we were in the hotel bar chatting and boozing and then dinner, with the starter being moose carpaccio.Guests enjoying the moose carpaccioI am not entirely sure what the main course was but I do not for one moment believe Bo’s claim that it was horse. They closed the bar before midnight but (ever prepared) the usual suspects decamped to our hotel room and started on the scotch. I had brought some Japanese scotch at the airport for Dan but he obviously considered it too valuable to waste and so we had to make do with Scottish scotch from Scotland, which we did until about half three in the morning.

Saturday, after breakfast there was an organised excursion to the local technical museum. This, (along with lunch) was sponsored by some Swedish online casino and we were all furnished with free polo shirts and photographed half to death before we went in.The group photographed half to death There was all sorts in this museum, cars dating back to 1801, motor cycles, a drag car, boats, pinball machines, engines, a juke box and various other oddments. Quite to my surprise Dame Judy was displaying a very unfeminine interest in the various configurations of the internal combustion engine and I found myself in the role of engine consultant.Horizontally opposed twin bicycles? Due to my expert tutelage she can now tell the difference between a V4 and a horizontally opposed twin from twenty paces. After dinner we sort of spread out a bit reconvening at the bar at about seven to be herded to a local restaurant, where there was a live local band in action.

Perhaps I should have mentioned before, the ‘purpose’ of this trip was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Swedish Moustache Club. For anyone interested in moustache history, the Svenska Mustaschklubben was started in 1984 by Sten-Erik Molker (now no longer with us unfortunately) as a nest of the Handlebar Club, and we still have very strong ties with them. Various short speeches were made and birthday pressies presented. Rodders presented Bo with a see-through plaque on behalf of the Handlebar Club but I suspect that the Belgian offering went down a bit better... Belgian chocolates and beer.The singer changing dresses every song Speaking of beer, I had trouble all evening pronouncing the name of the local (and hideously expensive) brew and by the end of the night it had become known as slashvasser. Anyway the band was pretty good, playing songs mostly from the ‘40s ‘50s and ‘60s. The singer seemed to be changing dresses every song and apparently the Swedish for ‘60s is ‘sexy toilet’ which caused a few titters.

My only complaint was the incredible uncomfortableness of the chairs. I was sitting next to Kalle, the Swedish club’s treasurer who had to leave early and even nicking his vacated cushion, by the end of the set my arse felt as though it had gone ten rounds with a cricket bat. I took the first bus back and went to bed. The Slothful Halbert gluggingWoken an hour or so later by the Warthog Sandwich ‘sneaking’ back into the room for glasses and learning that the hotel bar had now moved to Ronnie and Mark’s room, I succumbed to the inevitable and found Jörg, Whiskers, Rod, Dan, Mark and the Slothful Halbert glugging various scotches and talking rubbish. So much for an early night! I finally got back to bed at about half three and the ‘hard core’ were still going strong even then.

We were booked on a reasonably early flight back because Rod had to shoot straight up to Scotland. Luckily Paul and Sarah had hired (or possibly stolen) a car and we managed to blag a lift to the airport with them since they were heading that way. The weekend was a huge success, many thanks mostly to Dan for organising everything. It was a great shame that Hans (the Swedish President) could not be there but unfortunately his wife was not well and he had to stay and look after her. I am sure I can speak for all of us in wishing her a speedy recovery.


Text © Andy Lear / The Handlebar Club MMIX
Photography Copyright © 2009 Dan Sederowsky / Ulf Eneroth / Rod Littlewood